2008 Toyota Matrix
 2008 Toyota Matrix
 2008 Toyota Corolla

Toyota has announced another recall. Around 1.13 million Corolla and Matrix (two-wheel-drive) vehicles, from model year to 2005 to 2008, may have a suspect electronic engine control module (ECM). A crack could occur, leading to the "check engine" light going on, harsh shifting, or the possibility of the engine shutting down completely. The company says there have been "three unconfirmed accidents alleged to be related to this condition, one of which reported a minor injury."

"The engine can stall at any speed without warning and not restart," said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which has received nearly 200 complaints over this defect.

Beginning mid-September 2010, Toyota will start notifying owners. The ECM will be replaced free of charge. If an owner had experienced such a problem and taken the car back to the dealer, it could have been fixed under warranty. If the warranty had expired, it was up to the dealer whether to charge for it or not. In the case of owners having paid for this fix, Toyota will be giving them instructions on how to be reimbursed.

"We have known about the fact that there have been complaints of stalling engines," said John Hanson of Toyota. After further tests, where the ECM was found to be failing around 13 percent of the time, Toyota decided a more comprehensive recall was necessary.

More details and information can be found at toyota.com/recall. The customer service number is 1 800-331-4331.

This recall also pertains to 200,000 Pontiac Vibe cars of the same vintage. A collaboration between General Motors and Toyota, the Vibe was built at the same factory as the Matrix.

author photo

Colin Ryan has driven hundreds of cars thousands of miles while writing for BBC Top Gear magazine, Popular Mechanics, the Los Angeles Times, European Car, Import Tuner and many other publications, websites, TV shows, etc.

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